Has it already been 6 days?

To all my concerned friends, family, and readers: Thanks to fervent prayers to ALL the Mexican deities (Christian, Aztec, Mayan, et al.) and the Sopa de Pollo, I have recovered from my short illness. I’m sure it was the soup that did it — chicken soup in any culture/language has been proven to be a powerful curative (plus, a little jalapeno never hurts).

For today’s excursion, I visited el Museo Nacional de Arte . . . now, I figured (and my guide book stated) that ALL the great Mexican Artists are represented — some even that I wanted to see (Dr. Atl, Diego Rivera, J. C. Orozco (although I actually HATE his vision), etc.) — including Frida. The museum is an ornate neo-classical monument to the Mexican nation. Ah, life must be so much easier when one buys into a nationalistic discourse that only provides the thinest gauze of populism to veil the racist foundations of modern Mexico. Need proof? Here’s a quaint painting by Diego Rivera:

What does this small piece tell us? Art historians analyze the use of space to decipher art and in this piece we see one girl seated in the superior position, denoted by her higher placement, apparently teaching the inferior to read? Superior = Espanola/Blanca/ white/lettered and Inferior = India/brown/illiterate.

Dear readers, please bear with me regarding my cynicism (and my tilted photos). The irony of being Mexican-American — is that we are neither — and so view both the US and Mexico through the lens of “not-belongedness.” We are uncomfortable in our relations to both the old and the new since both reject us. The upside is the ability to see through the duplicity of nationalism and racist discourse (ok, some of us try at least).

Back to Frida: can you believe it? The National Museum of Art has no art by Frida Kahlo!!! Que lastima! (what a shame). But, the museum store did have a ton of cheap Frida trinkets to sell the the beguiled. Nevertheless, I saw just truly great art by so many different people (even a Picasso). I was also inspired by a collection of portraits of a single woman who was considered a “muse” in the early 20th century — which got me thinking about the positionality of being subject/object — oops, sorry, I’m getting too post-structuralist here. Anyway, here are a few of the masterpieces to be seen at this museum:

Diego Rivera’s cubist masterpiece: Zapatista Landscape:

Self portrait by Siquieros (who, by the way attempted to assassinate Trotsky – he was a Stalinist)

Jose Clemente Orozco: The small nation (I think Orozco REALLY HATED WOMEN)

Dr. Atl (really, the promoter of Mexicanidad in Mexican Art:

and a religious piece that just has to be dedicated to those suffering migraines (if you can’t tell, she has a nail sticking out of her forehead): Santa Rita de Casia:

2 Responses to “Has it already been 6 days?”

  1. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better. Love the artwork you are posting! I can’t wait to hear more stories.

  2. Glad you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing these daily updates & pictures. I am learning so much! Will look forward to hearing more when you get back. Take care!

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